no one knows but myself. Again some years elapsed, and when next I met D'Albertis it was at Melbourne, in 1878. His personal reminiscences, and subsequently the reading of his interesting work, powerfully awakened my desire again for a trip to New Guinea. But circumstances were still adverse, and it was only when rumours of annexation became rife, and the Rev. Mr. Lawes visited Melbourne early in 1885, that the prospect of visiting the land of my dreams began to assume a more tangible form.
Mr. Lawes, hearing me speak so enthusiastically about my long cherished desire, assured me of his readiness to assist, and of hospitality, should I come to Port Moresby. The reverend gentleman's kindness and goodwill were amply proved, as my narrative will show, but be it here recorded, with due deference, I believe he doubted at that time the likelihood of ever seeing me sit at his table in the broad verandah of the mission house, listening to Mr. H. O. Forbes' reminiscences of the interior of Sumatra (the exhumation and ultimate fate of "that Kubu woman " to wit).
A month or so after Mr. Lawes' departure from Australia, the papers reported the intelligence that Sir Peter Scratchley had been appointed High Commissioner for the Protectorate of New Guinea, and that a properly equipped expedition was to be sent to investigate the newly acquired territory. Now or never was my chance. Colonel F. T. Sargood kindly introduced me to Sir Peter, I offered to accompany the expedition as a volunteer, finding myself in every requisite, and giving copies of the pictures I should succeed in taking in return for my passage and the necessary facilities to develop and finish my negatives on board.
My offer was accepted by Sir Peter, and on July 15th, 1885, I received notice to join the "Governor Blackall," the vessel selected for the expedition, then lying in Sydney Harbour.
The command of the "Governor Blackall" was entrusted to Captain T. A. Lake, the senior captain of the A. S. N. Company's fleet, who, throughout the voyage, sustained his high character as a skilful navigator among coral reels, and proved himself a man of tact and decision,